California has been a hotspot for congestion and service delays, and conditions have yet to let up. Last week, BNSF railway issued a permit embargo on select westbound shipments to California. According to Progressive Railroading, high winds, in addition to severe flooding, have resulted in a serious misalignment of resources and freight volumes. While BNSF is aware this temporary embargo will impact rail users, they’re also aware that continuing along the current trajectory could have an even greater impact. The embargo, which began June 27th, will only impact certain commodities.

While disasters can occur unexpectedly, the ability to perceive consequences and take mitigating actions goes a long way. The westward congestion is a perfect use-case for RailState’s data, which is intended to help rail users avoid congestion at the outset. Were a commodity shipper to subscribe to RailState’s data, they’d get real-time updates in the event of a wind advisory or floods. These updates would allow the shipper to either decide to stay the course, or switch their next shipments to a different route or modality. While the embargo may help clear out congestion, it won’t be without sacrifice for certain commodities. The ultimate goal is for rail users to have control over planning, before things get so backed up that severe measures — like an embargo — seem to be the only way. With RailState’s data, rail users can regain control of their shipments, before it’s too late.

Read the full Progressive Railroading article here.

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